With Jughead’s "death" finally solved, Riverdale is on to its next mystery — or rather, it’s revisiting an old one. Though the show largely abandoned the mystery surrounding the VHS tapes being left on everyone’s doorsteps, the case is now back in full force: in the April 15 episode, more tapes were delivered to all of the main characters houses, with Jughead receiving one of someone in a creepy Betty mask hitting another person disguised as Jughead. It looks like we’ll have to wade through yet another potential Barchie romance before getting any answers, but in the meantime, there are several theories about the VHS tapes that could explain what’s going on.
Evelyn Is Using The VHS Tapes To Brainwash The Town
Yes, Edgar is dead, but Evelyn is still very much alive: she’s the one who helped Donna try to frame Betty for Jughead’s murder. She may be behind bars, but Evelyn clearly still has connections in Riverdale — and a desire to wreck havoc there. Is it possible she’s using the VHS tapes to brainwash people, like she did with Betty and her code words?
Some fans think the reason that Betty and Archie are falling for one another is because they’re being brainwashed or hypnotized, and they are acting really odd in the promo for the next episode. "Archie, why are we here?" Betty asks slowly. "I don’t know," Archie answers. They’re surrounded by candles, which could mean it’s just a romantic evening that left them questioning their respective relationships…or it could be that they’re being brainwashed by the Farm. It may seem like a stretch, but wilder things have happened in Riverdale.
Bret & Donna Could Be Back
It seemed like the Stonewall Prep storyline was wrapped up when Jughead’s murderer Donna was exposed, but maybe not. We already know that Bret and Donna like to tape people for blackmail and have a stack of VHS tapes at their disposal. Plus, they both really despise Betty and Jughead, and the tapes originally began showing up while Jughead was going to Stonewall. Perhaps Bret and Donna are still messing with him.
Charles Is Keeping Himself Relevant
Betty and Jughead’s half-brother Charles originally came to town to work on The Farm case for the FBI. That’s long since ended, but he keeps finding new reasons to stick around – chiefly this VHS tape mystery which began soon after The Farm threat was neutralized. Since the first tape was sent to his own family, that may have been to cast suspicion away from them.
Charles has years of surveillance experience as a member of the FBI, and it would be quite easy for him to film houses without being detected. He’s also aware of who the town power players are thanks to his close relationship with Betty and Jughead — so he would know where to send the tapes. Plus, he knows exactly what happened in the woods with Jughead and would be able to easily recreate it for that tape. He’s also told Betty that he shares her hidden darkness, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to do something like this. And when he told Jughead that he hoped whoever was making the tapes wouldn’t ever get inside the house, it seemed like more of a threat than a wish.
Hopefully the VHS tapes mystery will be solved before the end of Season 4, but it’s already dragged on so long, it wouldn’t be surprising if it bled into Season 5.
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